Just for the record: my dog burps! I know, I know. It sounds weird and nobody really cares. But I feel the need to explain. My dog – a Shiba Inu named Kiseki – burps, a lot and loud. It’s funny to me because I’ve never before known a dog to burp.
But it wasn’t funny the other night when I took him for a walk. As I passed a neighbor walking her dog, little Kiseki belched deeply – and very loud. My first thought was, “She’s going to think it was me.” I turned and looked at my neighbor and, sure enough, she glared at me as if to say, “That’s disgusting!”
I almost blurted out, “But it wasn’t me – it was my dog!” But I knew it was no use. She would only misunderstand me more: “Are you blaming your poor little dog?” So I bore the humiliation as gracefully as I could – by shutting up and walking on as if nothing had happened.
No one wants to be misunderstood. When we are – especially if we bear someone else’s guilt – the urge to explain and vindicate ourselves can be all-consuming. But being misunderstood is inevitable. If you’re in a leadership position or have children or are part of a profession, you’re bound to bare someone else’s blame.
And when you are misunderstood and unjustly accused, never forget that you’re in good company, for the Scripture says of our Lord, “The insults of those who have insulted You have fallen on Me” (Romans 15:3) and, “For Christ has once for all suffered for sins, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). It says in the Scripture about Christ, “We considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was put upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Yes, Jesus Himself was the most misunderstood man of all time. But the injustices against Him became the source of our redemption and eternal salvation – and comfort! For though we sometimes bear the blame of others, Christ Jesus bore all of ours. If you are misunderstood and unjustly blamed, then Jesus knows by personal experience exactly how you feel.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You for bearing my guilt and the judgments of God on my behalf. Please forgive me, cleanse me, and save me, and help me live a life worthy of Your love. Amen.